On This Day
1538 – Ottoman–Venetian War: The Ottoman Navy scores a decisive victory over a Holy League fleet in the Battle of Preveza.
The Battle of Preveza was a naval battle that took place on 28 September 1538 near Preveza in northwestern Greece between an Ottoman fleet and that of a Christian alliance assembled by Pope Paul III in which the Ottoman fleet defeated the allies. It occurred in the same area in the Ionian Sea as the Battle of Actium, 31 BC. It was one of the three largest sea battles that took place in the sixteenth century Mediterranean.
Born On This Day
1852 – Isis Pogson, British astronomer and meteorologist (d. 1945)
Isis Pogson (born Elizabeth Isis Pogson; 28 September 1852 – 14 May 1945) was a British astronomer and meteorologist, who was one of the first women to be elected as a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Pogson was born in Oxford, England, the eldest daughter of Norman Pogson by his first marriage to Elizabeth Jane Ambrose (died 1869). She was likely named after the River Isis, the part of the River Thames that flows through Oxford.
Norman Pogson was an assistant at Radcliffe Observatory and then at Hartwell Observatory. He discovered the asteroid 42 Isis on 23 May 1856, for which he was awarded the Lalande Prize. The asteroid was named by Professor Manuel John Johnson, director of the Radcliffe Observatory, presumably in honour of Pogson’s daughter Isis; it could also have been a reference to the River Isis.
When her father became director of the Madras Observatory in Madras, India, in October 1860, he travelled to his new post with his first wife and three of his 11 children, including Isis. His wife died in 1869, and he relied upon Isis to look after his other children. She also worked in India as her father’s assistant. She was given the post of computer at the observatory in 1873 with the salary of 150 rupees, equivalent to a “cook or coach-man”, and worked there for 25 years until she retired with a pension of 250 rupees in 1898, when the observatory closed. She served as the meteorological superintendent and reporter for the Madras government from 1881.
Fellowship of the Royal Astronomical Society
Pogson was the first woman to attempt to be elected a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, being nominated (unsuccessfully) by her father in 1886. Although the society had elected a few women as honorary members, all the fellows had been male up to this time. Her nomination was withdrawn when two attorneys deemed female fellows illegal under the provisions of the society’s royal charter dating from 1831, which referred to fellows only as he. She was successfully nominated in 1920 by Oxford professor H. H. Turner, five years after the Royal Astronomical Society first opened its doors to women.
After retiring from astronomy, she married Herbert Clement Kent, a captain in the Merchant Navy, on 17 August 1902 in Red Hill, Queensland, Australia. The couple returned to England, living in Bournemouth and then London. Pogson died in Croydon.
The Passive Voice: M is for Missing Sue Grafton; Novelist Cormac McCarthy’s tips on how to write a great science paper and more ->
By Ernie Smith, Tedium: Doing Things The Wrong Way
Pondering the way that the creative process is often directed by rules which, in many cases, stifle creativity. Sometimes, you just have to throw the rules out.
Today in Tedium: Back in college, possibly the most important book I read during the entire time I was there was extremely short and very opinionated. It wasn’t even long enough to be a novella. But it was compelling nonetheless. It was a short book about design and typography called The Mac is Not a Typewriter. A svelte style manual in the vein of William Strunk’s The Elements of Style, it basically laid out the essential elements of layout and typography in a way that was simple to understand and forced you to think about what was said. Despite being written for the earliest Macs, it was still relevant more than a decade after it was first published, and even holds up today.
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